Junon - Part One
Tifa awoke four hours after they arrived in Junon. It took her a few seconds to remember what happened before she fell unconscious then she realized she was no longer in Fort Condor. She was in an unfamiliar bed in a dark room with the only source of light being moonlight shining in through an opened window. She assumed she was in Junon because she could smell the ocean breeze coming in through the window.
She looked over to see Cloud sitting on the edge of the bed next to her. With the moonlight shining in she could just make out his figure and could see the glow in his eyes. She thought about what happened earlier and felt a little embarrassed fainting and making Cloud worry.
Noticing Tifa was awake Cloud looked over at her.
“Are you alright?” he asked in a soft voice.
“Ye…yeah,” Tifa replied sitting up in the bed.
She looked at Cloud trying to force a smile. His concerned look made her feel nervous and she was having a hard time looking him in the eyes. She was overwhelmed with emotion and felt so confused, strained, and scared right now she didn’t know what to say.
“I see…” Cloud turned away from Tifa a little offended. He had known Tifa long enough to know she was lying to him. He was a little hurt that she wouldn’t tell him what was wrong; didn’t she trust him after all they’ve been through?
Tifa could tell Cloud knew something was wrong and that he was upset she was withholding the truth from him.
“Cloud I…” she started to say something but stopped herself. She hated hiding things from him and wanted to tell him but she wasn’t sure if it was the right time.
Realizing she wanted to tell him, Cloud turned to look at her. “Whatever it is Tifa you can tell me...”
The blue light from the moon was shining on Cloud’s face causing his eyes to glow bright blue. The way he looked at her made her feel calm and safe, like everything was going to be ok. She cared about him so much she didn’t want to worry him anymore. Cloud reached over and held her hands gently. His eyes were so intense she had to look away to say it.
“I wanted to tell you after the mission but...” she took a deep breath, “….I’m pregnant.”
Saying it was such a relief but at the same time a wave of fear rushed over her. She wasn’t sure what his reaction would be and she couldn’t face him to find out. She felt tears starting to build in her eyes but she fought hard not to cry. A few seconds passed but it felt like minuets. Tifa wondered if Cloud was upset but couldn’t bear to look at him to find out. Then he released her hands and leaned forward embracing her tightly. Unable to fight it anymore tears starts rolling down her cheeks as Cloud tightened his hold on her.
“It’s going to be alright,” Cloud reassured her.
The truth is he was just as scared as she was but not because he wasn’t ready to have a child; he loved Tifa and they were practically raising Denzel and Marlene so he knew he could raise their child. His fear were validated by the conversation he had with Miles earlier. The mako he was exposed to altered his DNA but what he feared most was the Jenova cells within him. There was no doubt in his mind that he passed them on to his child and he was afraid what kind of effect this would have. His child was conceived with Jenova cells and he had no idea what it would do to his unborn child. What if they created the next Sephiroth or worse? He had a feeling Tifa was thinking the same thing and that’s what was worrying her. She was the only one who knew everything about what happened to him in the basement of the Shinra manor, well at least she knew everything he knew, his memories of the incident were still blurry.
The two sat alone in the room holding each other. Their minds were racing so much they were unable to sleep so they decided to go for a walk. It was close to midnight when they walked out of the Inn onto the city streets. It was a warm night but being near the Ocean provided a nice breeze.
Since the fall of Shinra Junon had transformed into a progressive, environmentally friendly metropolis with a booming population full of academics and growing industry.
Despite it being late the streets were still busy and most of the people they passed were young students coming from or going to the local bars and clubs. They did pass the odd patrolling Junon security officer who gave Cloud an odd look; most likely due to the large sword strapped to his back.
They continued walking through the city until they came across some familiar faces. Up ahead they saw Vincent with his back to them talking to Tseng and Elena. Elena, who was facing them, noticed the two and waived them over. Seeing Elena waive Vincent and Tseng stop talking and looked back towards them.
“Hello,” Elena greeted the two.
“Hello,” Tifa responded.
Cloud nodded hello to Tseng who nodded his head slightly in response.
“Tseng and Elena were just telling me about news they received from Corel,” Vincent informed Cloud and Tifa.
“As I was telling Vincent,” Tseng informed them. “We’ve heard that a pack of monsters attacked Corel. It appears they have had targeted the residents of the worker camp who are working on the reactor project.”
Cloud looked at Vincent. “I wonder if it’s the same monsters who attacked us earlier.”
Tifa was a little surprised to hear that they were attacked earlier. Cloud failed to mention that to her.
“Reno and Rude were the ones who informed us,” Elena told the group. “They said the creatures looked like the monsters around Corel but were bigger and had strange looking faces. Apparently they looked like they had human faces or something.”
“It sounds like Angeal copies,” Tseng informed the group.
“What are Angeal copies?” Cloud asked the Turk.
“Reeve didn’t tell you?” Tseng looked at the blond with a raised eyebrow. “Well I’m just speculating but years ago before the Nibelheim incident there were two 1st class SOLDIERS, Genesis and Angeal, who were the products of project G. They had the ability to transfer their powers into other beings be it human or beast. Usually the injected subjects would not only gain their powers but would also begin to look like them resulting in the altered faces. Last I heard Genesis and Angeal died years ago but it could be someone connected to project G.”
“What is project G?” Tifa asked.
“The G is for Gillian,” Tseng explained. “When Jenova was first discovered professor Gast assigned Hollander and Hojo to separate projects involving Jenova cell with the objective of creating a person with the powers of the Cetra. Hollander’s project was called project G and Hojo’s was called project S. Project G produced Genesis and Angeal while project S produced Sephiroth. As we know they were unable to create a person with the powers of the Ancients. Project S was determined to be the more successful specimen and project G was believed to be scrapped but as we know that did not happen since Deepground had ties to Project G.”
“How did Genesis and Angeal die?” Cloud asked. These two names sounded familiar but he had no clue where he heard them before.
“Your friend Zack killed them after they defected from Shinra. Don’t you remember?” Tseng answered Cloud looking a little confused. “You were with us in Modeoheim when Zack defeated Angeal.”
Cloud paused trying to think back. Many of his memories involving Zack were vague and hazy. He could only remember bits and pieces of the time they first met. Trying to think back to when he was working for Shinra he could remember a helicopter crash and climbing a mountain with Zack. He remembered Zack being impressed that he was about to keep up with him and they made a joke about both of them being country boys. Everything else about that day was a blur and he could not remember meeting Tseng when he was a Shinra employee.
Cloud shook his head, “Sorry I don’t remember.”
Tseng could sympathize with Cloud. He knew what Hojo did to him and Zack after the Nibelheim incident. He couldn’t even imagine what abuse they suffered in that laboratory. He knew they were experimented on and tortured for four years so he was not surprised to see that Cloud suffered some memory loss.
“Well we need to continue on to Corel. Reno and Rude managed to fight off the monsters and do some damage control but they can’t stay for long and I have a feeling this is not the last of them,” Tseng advised the others.
“We’ve informed Reeve of the situation in Corel,” Elena told the group. “He said you all should be arriving in Corel tomorrow to help out. We will meet you there and will let you know if we find any more information.”
With that the two Turks turned and walked towards the aviation hanger located above the city.
“I wonder if these monsters have any connection to Deepground,” Cloud looked at Vincent who appeared deep in thought. Cloud had a feeling that Vincent was thinking the same thing.
“Deepground was reportedly destroyed so we shouldn’t make any inferences until we have some proof.” Vincent was the one who took down the super SOLDIER’s and as far as he knew they were all wiped out. It had been a year since his battle with them and there had been no trace of them since.
“Do you think this has something to do with the reactors?” Tifa asked.
“When Miles and I investigated Fort Condor today we discovered parts of the reactor missing. He appeared to be interested in the type of equipment missing. Maybe we could ask him what exactly it was and if he has any idea what it can be used for. Perhaps someone is using these monsters as a distraction,” Vincent suggested. Being a former Turk he always had a six sense about these things and this was making alarms go off.
“The missing equipment could be anyone,” Cloud responded. “It’s common for raiders to pilfer old Shinra technology to sell or use.”
“What about the blood filled room in the fort?” Tifa asked. “Did you find out where or who the blood came from?”
Cloud shook his head no. “Besides the blood the room was completely empty.” He looked at Vincent, “do you know the connection between Project G and Deepground?” He had very little knowledge of both other than assisting Vincent with fighting Deepground and their plan to summon Omega.
“All I know is that Deepground was constructed on Genesis’s powers and all the Tsviets were created using his genes.” Vincent responded. “As Tseng suggested Reeve might have more information on these Genesis copies.”
“We should meet with Reeve first thing tomorrow morning and find out what he has planned next.” Cloud proposed.
They all agreed and there was a short pause.
“We have an early day tomorrow and I’m starting to get tired,” Tifa informed Cloud. She looked back at Vincent, “Are you coming back to the Inn Vincent?”
“I’m not tired.”
“Well, have a goodnight Vincent.”
“Goodnight.” Vincent said to Tifa and Cloud before turning to walk away.
Cloud and Tifa made their way back towards the Inn for the night. Although they both had a lot on their mind it didn’t take long for them to fall to sleep thanks to the cool sea breeze.